Metal Gear Solid – the greatest PlayStation game of all time

The game dubbed ‘the greatest PlayStation game of all time’ sees release on the PC. Will it still fare as well with so much more competition in the genre?

Hiding is essential – if this guard takes another step, you’re stuffed.
Once upon a time there was a little grey box. It sat underneath a big black box and was content with its existence giving the big black box images to display.

And then something happened. Konami put a new disc into the little grey box’s drive and its world turned around. The big black box was showing all sorts of brilliant graphics and neat sound tricks. This was the real birth of PlayStation, long after the machine had been released – Metal Gear Solid had arrived and every PlayStation owner had to get a copy.

With wide acclaim being thrown over MGS from all directions, Konami soon released VR Missions, an extra game pack that contained hundreds of training missions along with a first person game mode to enhance the action.

However, the PlayStation game was by no means flawless. For the system, it had superb graphics and brilliant sound, but there was very little game play. In the six hours that it takes to finish Metal Gear Solid, there is little more than an hour’s interaction. Most of the game consists of playing for 10 minutes, watching a movie for half an hour, and fighting a boss for five minutes before getting even more movie footage and looping until the end of the game.

So what have they done to improve this on the PC, where consumers are more quality conscious? Very little, really. With nice new high resolution graphics and a save anywhere option, there’s not much that can be done. The textures are also still low resolution, giving everything a smeared look when you play the game in 1024 x 768 resolution. The game comes packed with the VR Missions expansion for the PC, allowing for some game play to be had, if only in training missions, but this is hardly enough to compensate.

There can be no doubt about the great atmosphere that Metal Gear Solid immerses you in as a viewer, but if you want a game that will play well and give you atmosphere at the same time, you need only look in the direction of Deus Ex, a masterpiece of first person espionage. If, however, you want a film that you will look back on very rarely, MGS is the ideal purchase.

Hideo Kojima may be revered in the console games industry, but until he realises his dream of immersing the player in a virtual world, as he originally promised for MGS, he will forever come second in a market filled with titles that allow you to do just that.